Corporate citizenry Featured

9:57am EDT November 22, 2004
Southwest General Health Center

As a community hospital, Southwest General is naturally attuned to serving the needs of its community. However, as a hospital that is supported, in part, by six communities that together raised the funds to found it in 1920, Southwest is extraordinarily devoted to giving back and enhancing the quality of life within the communities it serves.

Among its initiatives, Southwest maintains a courtesy van transportation service, which provides area residents who are disabled, elderly or without a car free transportation in the six districts -- Berea, Brook Park, Columbia Township, Middleburg Heights, Olmsted Falls and Strongsville -- to appointments at the campus to see doctors or obtain other services. Last year, 2,636 residents rode the vans.

The health center's Community Outreach nurses work with area recreation and senior centers to develop health-related programs and provide health screenings. On average, nearly 12,000 people each year take advantage of the programs and screenings.

And, Southwest each year provides charity care for those unable to pay for services. In 2003, it provided more than $2.6 million in charity care.


Aligning your philanthropic philosophy with your business philosophy is a practical idea. So it is little surprise that accounting services firm CBIZ aligns its approach to community service to its corporate philosophy.

Just as the company and its staff help business owners succeed, Chairman and CEO Steven Gerard and his staff strive to help communities succeed by contributing to organizations that work to strengthen the foundations of a healthy community -- education, employment and nutrition.

One initiative Gerard is particularly proud of is the company's six-year long participation in the Cleveland Initiative for Education, a partnership program in which businesses sponsor a school in the Cleveland School District to help it with various challenges. The partnership program tackles issues such as school improvement projects (painting dilapidated buildings); donations of in-kind materials; donations of no longer needed items such as computers; and tutoring children.

Last year alone, CBIZ donated thousands of dollars worth of office furniture to a school and arranged for its delivery, participated in the creation of a library mural, donated student incentives for "attendance week" and supplied volunteers to staff Career Day. CBIZ also arranges a facility for the teachers and staff to hold professional development planning days twice each year.

The Pattie Group

Steve Pattie understands the impact that a welcoming and warm environment can have on children with disabilities and their families.

That's why his company, The Pattie Group, listened when the executive director and board members of The Achievement Centers for Children presented their vision for a special courtyard - one that would provide serenity and support for parents, while providing unique, enjoyable experiences for the children.

Pattie, Kevin Goodman and the staff at The Pattie Group used their expertise to help design, construct and plant the garden, primarily through in-kind donations. The courtyard includes an irrigation and lighting system, and boulders and rocks are placed for sitting and relaxing. The Pattie Group will maintain the garden and courtyard -- at no charge -- for one year. The estimated donated value of the entire project is more than $75,000.

Working with ACC isn't the only philanthropic activity The Pattie Group is involved with. The organization also delivers meals to the elderly through the Geauga Department of Aging Meals on Wheels program; adopts families each Thanksgiving and Christmas, providing dinners and gifts to them; participates in numerous walk-a-thons and marathons; and sponsors baseball teams through the Munson and Chardon baseball leagues.

Oswald Cos.

While Oswald Cos. assists its clients' ever-changing business needs, the independent, employee-owned brokerage firm also assists regional nonprofit organizations that help people in need.

Company President Marc Byrnes and his staff each year contribute more than $110,000 to organizations such as Applewood Centers, Heather Hill Hospital, Holden Arboretum and Providence House. Oswald is also a proud supporter of United Way Services of Greater Cleveland and, for the second year in a row, was a UWS Pacesetter, raising $35,000 in 2003 and $43,000 in 2004.

The employees also donate time and talent, participating in events such as the MS Walk and Race for a Cure, and hosting an annual fund-raiser for Harvest for Hunter that last year raised $2,000.

In August, the staff spent a day outside sprucing up the Harvard Community Services Center. Employees weeded the landscaping, painted, organized storage rooms and cleaned the building.

And, Oswald's employees also donate their time to nonprofit boards -- 25 of them sit on boards.

The Cleveland Jewish News

As the only independent, community-owned Jewish newspaper in the United States, The Cleveland Jewish News not only provides award-winning editorial content to its 45,000 weekly readers but also maintains a strong commitment to community service in Northeast Ohio through extensive editorial coverage of nonprofits and nonprofit charitable events throughout the Greater Cleveland region.

The newspaper offers nonprofit organizations special display advertising rates, which enables them to use the pages of The Cleveland Jewish News as an extremely cost-effective medium to attract attention to valuable programs and other efforts that better the region.

Because the newspaper focuses on Jewish-related news and activities, its reach and coverage into synagogues, social service agencies, museums and other nonprofits -- both Jewish and non-Jewish -- provides a more in-depth look into the world of nonprofits than other traditional media in the region. Among the areas featured are charity benefits, fund-raisers, speeches, meetings, dinners, rallies and sporting events that benefit Northeast Ohio residents of all faiths.